The secret gallery’s blog

Maybe the first secret gallery in Doolin, Co. Clare, Ireland

Archive for October 7th, 2008

Laying a line of Mother of pearl along the garden path

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Today, I suddenly started to tidy up the garden, it had got pretty neglected looking. A month or so ago, I had put a kind of trail/ladder of mother of pearl shells and driftwood down the garden path. Gradually it had turned from a line to a tide line to a messy bird picked, children kicked, moss covered and even seaweed-like, green balls of slime infested path, with some random shells and driftwood on it!

I cleared (I am trying not to use weed killer, my hands have aged about 50 years in a single day!) and edged the path and washed the shells and relayed the trail, starting this time with oyster shells, then driftwood going up as far as the little tree, and up to a branch! Then I lay the Mother of Pearl shells, it was such a meditative experience; gathering the shells then washing them and laying them out carefully. It felt like a lovely ritual, I would like to do it once a month or so.

Even after the big tidy up, the path was still a little messy and mossy, and wet and ended in a Turlough, complete with strange green slime balls!(Does anyone know what these rootless, spreading, weird things are?) Placing these perfect, beautiful little shells on top of natures contributes of it’s persistence and constant reclaiming and growing back over the man made path, both gestured at poetry and absurdity! This felt like a meditative ritual, creating a space to be very quiet and work in a gentle way with nature. When doing my interventions I like to introduce unexpected objects to a place, they tend to be playful and often quirky: changing the way we see things by putting them in a different context.   

Written by Marianne Slevin

7 October, 2008 at 10:26 pm

I have some dirt in my Rainbow!

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Sometimes children make more sense. Our two year old son, just said “I have some dirt in my rainbow,” he meant eyebrow! but today I feel like I have some dirt in my rainbow! My car dug it’s heals in and refused to move away from the bank in Ennistymon, I had just given it a rest for a couple of days and maybe it was insulted that I had thought of it as a gas guzzling monster! Or maybe it was my karma. I have been listening to some Eastern philosophy podcasts by Alan Watts. James, my partner recommended them to me, they are fantastic lectures that have been recorded many years ago.

Today, the lecture I listened to, described us living in a phantasmagoria! What a great word and world! In another lecture Alan Watts talked about the pitfalls of announcing that you are on a trying-to-do-something-good path! Basically all your karma comes quickly, very quickly! the trick is not to announce it to the world or even yourself! If you act without thinking about it first you can avoid this negative karma! I think the car breaking down today as an example of this: I said that, “I want to reduce my carbon foot-print and drive the car less”, the next time I drove it, it brakes down! So more action less thinking! Today I am making no claims to do anything better! At least, not that I am going to mention to myself!

Written by Marianne Slevin

7 October, 2008 at 1:18 pm